GERI’S CABBAGE ROLLS
When I was growing up, Every year since I can remember, my mom, Geraldine Jones, (Geri), made stuffed cabbage rolls. 51 years ago I interviewed a bunch of guys and finally found one who would eat sauerkraut so I married him. He was gonna have to endure these every year for the next 50 or so! I have made them every year since. Over the years not much about them has changed, other than to change the meats. My mom always used 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. ground sausage. I like hot Italian Sausage, and a few years ago I started using Ground Turkey hot Italian sausage. (check my table of contents for how to make your own sausage.). And in place of ground beef, I use ground turkey or chicken. You spice them up so much that it doesn’t really seem to taste much different, but if you are a stickler for the original, use beef and pork!
1 lb. ground meat
1 lb. Italian sausage (hot or mild)
1 large jar Sauerkraut
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 grated or finely chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste (about 2 tsp. in the meat mix)
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup sugar, divided in half
1 large head cabbage
Start by coring the cabbage and dropping each separate leaf in boiling water for just a few seconds, till soft. This is the worst part, because it’s difficult to separate the leaves. But in the end you can use the torn ones too….ask me how I know…
In a large bowl, mix the meats, eggs, rice, salt and pepper thoroughly.
One by one, put a ball of the mix in a cabbage leaf and roll. Place in the bottom of a large heavy bottom pot. Make one layer, squishing them together. Then take 1/2 of the sauerkraut and 1/2 the tomatoes and pour over. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the layer. Do one more layer and top it all off again with the kraut and tomatoes and sugar. Add about 1 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil, slow the boil down, and cook at least one hour. They will make a wonderful sweet, sour sauce that you pour over the rolls when you serve them. THESE FREEZE BEAUTIFULLY. Now, have some for lunch and then try to give them away to your friends and family, because you have made about 1,000 of them!
If you have meat or cabbage left over, just put it in the pot and cook it with everything else. It’s delish anyway!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!